News and Race Reports for August 20 1995
World Cup - Zuerich, 20 Aug 95
The Championship of Zuerich covered much the same route as last year,
starting in Basel and finishing 235km later on the race-track at
Oerlikon in Zuerich. Again the riders faced a challenging course with
numerous changes of direction and countless short but sharp climbs.
The weather was overcast with the occasional shower but as far as I
could judge the riders got through much of the north of Switzerland
without getting wet.
Many of the climbs in this race come in the second half, and so it
wasn't surprising that when a group of 9 riders broke away early there
was no reaction from the field. As they rode through our small
village, some 2 hours after the start, the leaders had almost 7
minutes on the field - who showed little interest in doing much
chasing. But patience is a virtue on this course, and those that can
conserve their strength for the climbs in the last hour often have the
As I turn on the TV there is about 40km to go to the finish. The
situation has not changed a lot, the field is still some 4 minutes
down and the leaders are still away. Coppolillo (Navigare) takes the
initiative at the front and lifts the pace on a climb, splitting the
leaders. Scinto (MG) and Den Bakker (TVM) follow Coppolillo and three
others, Santaromita (Gewiss), Roux (Castorama) and Fina follow some
20" down. As in many of the other races this season, the Italians
are dominating again.
Den Bakker seems reluctant to lead and the pace at the front drops
enough to let the three followers to get back on again. In the field
Mapei takes over the chase from Motorola who have been busiest until
now. Museeuw is in about 10th place with Jalabert stuck on his wheel.
As the six leaders start the Regensberg climb, some 28km before the
finish, they seem to be sizing one another up - the quiet before the
storm perhaps? Behind them the 2 Australians Jonkers and Hodge are
trying to bridge the gap, 2'11" down, and the field has reduced the
gap to about 3 minutes. The climb seems to mark the start of the race
proper for the field because the pace is significantly higher now, and
the attacks start to come regularly. By the top of the climb the lead
is down to 2'02". De la Santa is doing a lot of work for the Mapei team.
The the next climb, the Huettikerberg is reached 5km later. At the
front Cippolillo decides the time has come for an attack and raises
the pace again - only Den Bakker and Scinto can follow. The field
starts the climb 1'33" after the leaders with Museeuw at the front,
closly watched by Jalabert. At the top of the climb the lead is down
to 56", a very slim margin for the remaining 14km.
After a short downhill yet another climb is reached. Among the leaders
Scinto falls back to get instructions from the team car. His job now
is unclear, should he try to ride for the win or should he try and
block the leaders to leave Museeuw chances for the win? The orders
from the team manager are clear - 10 seconds later he attacks in a
huge gear and leaves the other two standing. Den Bakker is weaker than
Cippolillo in the climb and Cippolillo is reluctant to tow Den Bakker
to the front again. The result is indecision and Scinto powers away.
The field is very close now. Indeed, by the top of the climb Scinto
has 32" and the two chasers look to be caught in the next few minutes.
However they both prove to be hard customers and can hang on as Donati
and Furlan close up from behind. The four chasers can open up a gap
over the field and as the second to last climb of the day is mastered
the are only 19" down on Scinto. There is only about 20 riders left in
the field and they've lost a few seconds to drop to 42". However, with
one more climb and 10km to go their chances are still intact.
As Scinto goes into the last climb of the day he has to dig out
everything that he has. The climb itself is not huge but the start is
18% and the MG rider has been at the front of the race for over 200km
now - he's fighting. All his efforts cannot prevent the inevitable
though. Donati and Furlan attack in the middle of the climb and catch
Scinto at the top. The pace slackens off and the other two regain
contact again as well.
The five look at one another briefly and then suddenly Gianni Bugno
flys past with Museeuw on his wheel! Where they came from is not clear
but it seems that they've shaken off the bunch. Most importantly, for
Museeuw at least, Jalabert is nowhere to be seen. The exhausted Scinto
must now deal with the fact that not only will he not win the race but
he must also work for Bugno. He goes straight to work and helped by
Den Bakker and Museeuw, who is looking to wrap up the World Cup in
Jalaberts absence. With 3.5km to go there is no sign of the bunch, but
that doesn't mean much on Zuerich's winding streets.
As the last kilometer is reached disaster strikes for Scinto. He
underestimates a 90 degree right hand corner and misses it totally. He
avoids a crash but cannot help Bugno any more and has no chances of a
top placing now. As the leaders approach the stadium the bunch can
finally be seen behind them - the gap is not much more than 10
seconds! As Museeuw sees them approaching from behind he takes over
the lead himself and leads onto the race track.
As the first corner is reached Gianni Bugno comes off Museeuw's wheel
and winds the sprint up in a big gear. Museuuw has a smaller gear than
Bugno and is travelling slower, but he has the better line on the
inside. He holds off Bugno down the back straight and into the last
corner. They ride side by side through the bend. As they come out of
the corner Museeuw holds his line better than Bugno - he gains a meter
and can hold of the charge from Bugno to take the win with about 10
Furlan is unchallenged for third and the amazing Coppolillo takes 4th
in front of Den Bakker and Donatti. Baldato leads in the bunch seconds
later followed by Ferrigato, Fondriest and Armstrong. One welcome
sight among the riders in the bunch was the jersey of Mauro Gianetti,
who is obviously continuing his incredible recovery and looking to
finish off the season the way he started it. Bravo Mauro Gianetti.
I didn't get to see where Jalabert finished, but the World Cup win
seems out of the question for him now. After the race Museeuw said
that he was happy to decide the competition here today as he
considered the Tour of Lombardy to be too hard for him.
1. Museeuw BEL
2. Bugno ITA
3. Furlan ITA
4. Cippolillo ITA
5. Den Bakker HOL
6. Donatti ITA
7. Baldato ITA
8. Ferrigato ITA
9. Fondriest ITA
10. Armstrong USA
P.S. Sort of looks like an Italian invitation race doesn't it?
**Andrei Tchmil was able to hold on to his slim lead in the final stage 4
of the Tour of Limousin on 18 August 95 to take the overall race victory.
The stage was won by GAN's Christophe Capelle.
**The third race in the series of Italian races in the Lombardy region (the
first two were the Coppa Agostoni and the Coppa Bernocchi) which play an
important part in the Italian national team selection for the World
Championships was won by ZG Mobili's Roberto Caruso. In the 210km Tre Valli
Varesine on 18 August 95, Caruso, who was second in the Leeds International
Classic, managed to hold a gap of 18 seconds over team-mate Stefano Colage
and Brescialat's Angelo Lecchi in the 8 x 15km laps at the end of the race.
More details on these two races on Monday!
Belgian team for Worlds (facts from L'Equipe, opinion mine!)
Doubts that Belgium might not send a road team to the World Championships
in Colombia have happily been dispelled although the selection is hardly
loaded down with famous names. The team will be led by Luc Roosen and Jim
Van de Laer (TVM) supported by Verheyen and Van Sevenant (Vlaanderen 2002),
Verbeken (Collstrop), and Farazijn and Van de Wouver (Lotto). The eighth
road place could go to the Walllonian rider Marc Streel of the
Saxon-Tonissteiner team who is in any case likely to be there for the
pursuit. Franck Vandenbroucke, who had earlier been promoted in the press
as a likely team leader has declined to ride on the advice of Mapei team
doctor Yvan Van Mol. According to the latter, the efforts involved at 2,500
to 2,900 metres above sea level by such a young rider would be too vioelnt
and should be avoided.
Geluk Belgie! Bon chance a la Belgique!
Jacky Durand injured at home (the most dangerous place to be I believe!)
Jacky Durand missed out on the Tour du Limousin -- he won two stages in
1994 -- because of a fall on the stairs at home. Jacky fractured a
metatarsal in his left foot and looks like being hors de combat for the
next eight to fifteen days.
Mapei team for Vuelta
Mapei has announced its team for the Vuelta a Espana (2-24 September 95).
Led by Fernando Escartin, the other riders will be Beltran, Echave,
Mauleon, Olano, Pena, Unzaga, Baffi and Della Santa.